Becoming a Fortune Leader
Leadership is one of the most oft talked about organizational concepts. The reason for this, I believe, is fairly clear. Without a great or even an effective leader, companies, businesses and organizations do not go very far. They do not compete well against others, and they do not offer anything terribly meaningful to the customer (i.e., the patient). Each year, numerous Leadership Summits and conferences are held around the world. Take for example a well-known name such as Fortune, which is of course well known due to their great leadership. Let us review some of Fortune’s 2015 Leadership Summit presenters to find out what we’re talking about when we talk about leadership.
• Nir Eyal authored a book entitled “Hooked,” which describes a straightforward process for ensuring a company’s success. The key ingredient, according to Eyal, is consumer engagement. In other words, how to create a habit in your customers so they return. According to Eyal, the key steps to the success of a business are growth, engagement and monetization. For a company to grow, it must make money. For a company to make money, it must engage its customers so they return, spread the good word, and pay more money. This line of thought might seem a little too heavy on the “MBA” side for the dental industry, since after all, dentists are healthcare providers, right? Nonetheless, even healthcare providers, if they want to be successful, must consider whether they are “hooking” their patients or not. How are you creating customer engagement?
• David Meerman Scott spoke about his book: “The New Rules of Sales and Service.” He points out that these days, businesses have an opportunity unlike any time in the past to send messages immediately to their customer base using the Internet. An idea he talks about in particular is “news-jacking,” in which companies think of a way to get into the news based on what is already in the news. Are you marketing your service? How might you pair the service you provide to something that is already being talked about? How do you find out what people are hearing, or in what they are interested? If you cannot imagine how you would have time to add this task to your list of to-dos, consider hiring someone, or contracting with a company to adopt this marketing strategy to your business model.
• Paul Akers writes about “2 Second Lean,” helping us boil down and understand how to make “Lean” management successful. You have probably heard of “Lean” or “Six Sigma” as a change management method used by leaders. What many companies that use Lean fail to successfully implement, however, is the total participation of their organization. When literally everyone in a company participates in identifying and eliminating waste, and lives the process rather than doing it as a part of their job, companies see tens of thousands of dollars come back to them year over year. You can learn a lot about Lean via the Internet. Toyota was the first to implement it and their huge success is largely attributable to the Lean way of doing business.
• Christine Comaford wrote a book entitled “Smart Tribes.” In this book, she discusses trust and how leaders need to engender it through creating and sustaining senses of safety, belonging and mattering. In companies, leaders who engender trust find that they have loyal followers, so they spend less time dealing with employee issues and more time on doing the work and growing their business. Christine mentions the importance of providing positive feedback about what is going well and what you as the leader want to see more of. Another important tactic toward building trust is to talk about “who we are together” as a team, or in other words, what is our dental practice all about? Are you focused on trust? How could you make it more central in your leadership practice?
• Finally, Nick Nanton writes about “Story Selling,” which speaks to a company’s brand being the story. He describes the process for creating a compelling story which will hook the customer and align the staff toward a common goal. The four steps in this process include: 1) “overcoming the monster,” describing what you’ve had to deal with along your company’s path; 2) “rags to riches,” which demonstrates your growth; 3) “the quest,” which appeals to the archetypal Hero’s Journey; and finally 4) “rising from the ashes,” which shows your perseverance and ability to withstand great adversity. Have you developed and articulated a story about your practice, or how you got to your position?
These are just some examples of the latest leadership topics. They will hopefully cause you to think a little bit deeper about yourself as a leader, in addition to how you want to apply yourself as a great leader using some of these techniques.
Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at email@example.comForward this article to a friend
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